[Python-Dev] PEP 350: Codetags

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Sat Oct 1 04:08:58 CEST 2005

Guido van Rossum wrote:
> On 9/30/05, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:
>>An approach to this area that would make sense to me is:
>>1. Defer PEP 350
>>2. Publish a simple Python module for finding and processing code tags in a
>>configurable fashion
>>3. Include a default configuration in the module that provides the behaviour
>>described in PEP 350
>>4. After this hypothetical code tag processing module has been out in the wild
>>for a while, re-open PEP 350 with an eye to including the module in the
>>standard library
>>The idea is that it should be possible to tailor the processing module in
>>order to textually scan a codebase (possibly C or C++ rather than Python) in
>>accordance with a project-specific system of code tagging, rather than
>>requiring that the project necessarily use the default style included in the
>>processing module (Although using a system other than the default one may
>>result in reduced functionality, naturally).
> Maybe I'm just an old fart, but this all seems way over-engineered.
> Even for projects the size of Python, a simple grep+find is sufficient.

I expect many people would agree with you, but Micah was interested enough in 
the area to write a PEP about it. The above was just a suggestion for a 
different way of looking at the problem, so that writing a PEP would actually 
make sense. At the moment, if the tags used are project-specific, and the 
method used to find them is a simple grep+find, then I don't see a reason for 
the idea to be a *Python* Enhancement Proposal.

Further, I see some interesting possibilities for automation if such a library 
exists. For example, a cron job that scans the checked in sources, and 
automatically converts new TODO's to RFE's in the project tracker, and adds a 
tracker cross-link into the source code comment. The job could similarly 
create bug reports for FIXME's. If the project tracker was one that supported 
URL links, and the project had a URL view of the source tree, then the 
cross-links between the code tag and the tracker could be actual URL 
references to each other.

However, the starting point for exploring any such ideas would be a library 
that made it easier to work with code tags.


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

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